Multnomah County Auditor Jennifer McGuirk today invited community members to get involved in County Commission redistricting. Redistricting takes place every 10 years following the U.S. Census to ensure each person in the county receives equal representation. The Multnomah County Charter sets the number of districts — currently four — and gives the Auditor responsibility for creating a plan that sets district boundaries.
Commissioners are elected to represent particular geographic areas and the people who live in their district. In 1984, voters approved amending the Charter to have four Commission districts, each served by one Commissioner.
Through October 15, 2021, people can share their suggestions and concerns about their Commissioner district’s boundaries. Redistricting questionnaires are available online or at any library branch in English, Russian, Somali, Simplified Chinese, Spanish, and Vietnamese. People can also video or audio record their answers to the questionnaire and email them to email@example.com.
“Given the population growth of Multnomah County in the last few years, I expect there will be some changes to Commissioner district boundaries,” said McGuirk. “That’s why it’s so important for people to weigh in and have their voices heard. Community input can help us adjust boundaries in ways that are statistically sound, and support the diverse communities in our county.”McGuirk also assured the public that Multnomah County redistricting is free from gerrymandering, which the County Charter prohibits. Commissioners are elected on a non-partisan basis, so there is no built-in temptation to draw districts to favor a political party. Also, the Charter requires maintaining the general geographic characteristics of the existing districts, which prevents significant boundary changes other than to attain population equality.
McGuirk said her office’s goal is to present the redistricting plan to the Board of County Commissioners for approval before the end of 2021. People can learn more about the redistricting process and explore the map of current district boundaries at Multnomah County Redistricting 2021.